Dinner parties are back on! It’s a great way to meet up with your friends, eat food that you love and not have to travel anywhere!
But since some of your friends might still feel that going to a restaurant is a better option than dinner at their friends, let’s raise our game a little to make sure that your dinner party is truly memorable for everyone.
1. Design your own invitations
Sure, you can send out a quick text message to invite everyone over, but why not go the extra mile and design your own dinner invitation? You can still e-mail it or sent as a pdf or photo attachment to your friends, if you don’t want to have the expense of printing and posting, but the fact that you’ve designed a proper invitation will make people think they are invited to a very special dinner indeed!
2. Design personalised placemats or place name tags
To make your dinner extra special, why not design personalised placemats or place name tags to let your friends know where you’d like them to sit at the table?
You can use t-shirt mockup design bundle and use your friends photos to surprise them. Download the T-shirt mock up without a model and add your own photo, background and think about a funny or memorable saying that would be meaningful for each person.
Print your design in colour and use light adhesive to stick on to a card that can be placed in front of each table setting or put the place name tag on the plate itself.
This could be a great icebreaker, especially if you invite friends that might not know each other directly.
3. Make your own menu
A dinner menu displayed on the table will not only make the whole dinner experience feel like everyone is in a proper restaurant, but it will also stop everyone asking you ‘what’s for dinner’, ‘which meat is this?’ or ‘is this dairy free or not?’ a million times over. It will also help you to get organised early on, because you’ll need to choose your dishes, buy the right ingredients and practise any recipes to make sure that everything goes smoothly.
An extra tip is to design the menu and type everything out on your computer, but not print it until the last minute, just in case you need to make any slight adjustments to the menu.
4. Decide on the best room to host your dinner party
The dining room is the obvious choice for your dinner party, but if the weather is nice and warm consider having your dinner party outdoors. You can create extra magic with lights, large vases with fresh flowers and break out areas with large cushions and cosy blankets. Flower bunting, citronella candles (to keep the insects away) and rustic decorations will compliment the outdoor setting. If you are worried about the chance of rain, you can always borrow a gazebo to set up your table under.
5. Arrange fresh flowers
A bouquet of beautifully arranged fresh flowers will look amazing at your dinner party and could easily become a talking point. Avoid any flowers that have a strong scent, like lilies or freesias in the dining room.
Extra tip: to make your flowers go further, buy cheaper flowers from supermarket, collect greenery from your garden (or buy at the florist) and then arrange your flowers at home.
6. Make sure people find you
Make sure that people know they are ringing the right doorbell by welcoming them with a quick sign or a party ballon, especially if the door entry is not quite obvious: for example, if you live in a block of flats or there are several different entrances to your garden or property.
7. Plan entertainment
Although eating dinner, chatting to your friends and enjoying a drink or two, should be enough, it might worth thinking about some sort of entertainment if you finish your dinner early or if the conversation falters. You don’t have to make up anything complicated as simple party games will be enough.
8. Prepare Goody Bags
This is completely optional, but if, for example, you are inviting your friends around for dinner because one or two of them has just had a birthday and you were not able to celebrate together, why not prepare small token gifts to give to all of your friends as they leave. This could be something like a sample jar of the jam you’ve used for the dessert course, a mix of your favourite spices, herbal tea or a hot chocolate sachet that they can make when they get home or anything else that will fit into a small paper goody bag.